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Don’t Let PMS “Abduct” Your Life Every Month
You Can Be PMS Free With the Right Nutrition and Lifestyle Changes
Each month during most of a healthy woman's childbearing years, she produces an egg and if that egg is not fertilized, later that month, she will have a period. This is a normal part of being a woman. During the time between ovulation and menstruation, many women experience dramatic changes in their health and mood.
PMS feels like a monster has taken over their lives. Not only do they experience physical discomforts like painful cramps, water retention, weight gain, heavy bleeding and food cravings, they experience emotional changes. Women can suddenly become angry, irritable, moody, depressed and/or anxious.
Understanding the Menstrual Cycle and PMS
PMS is a syndrome, which means that it's not a single health problem; it's a collection of health problems that vary from woman to woman. The causes of these problems vary, which means that the strategy for eliminating PMS will be a little different for each woman.
The normal menstrual cycle, which begins on the first day of a woman's period. A woman typically ovulates midway through her cycle. In the average 28-day cycle, a woman would release an egg about 14 days after the first day of her period.
During the first half of the menstrual cycle (days 3-14 in an average cycle) estrogen is the dominant hormone. Estrogen matures an egg and stimulates ovulation. After ovulation, progesterone becomes the dominant hormone (days 15-28 in an average cycle). At the end of this second half of the cycle, estrogen kicks in again to start the period (days 1-3).
PMS occurs in the later half of the cycle during the progesterone dominant phase.
Finding the Right Remedies to Set You Free
It helps to understand that there are different types of PMS:
You can have more than one type of PMS, except you can't have both Type A and Type D because they are opposite problems.
Blasting the Causes of PMS
PMS is not a "stand-alone" health problem. It is really a sign of general health problems. It is important to improve underlying health causes if you want to rid yourself of the PMS monster once and for all.
Nutrition and PMS
PMS is primarily caused by a poor diet and nutritional deficiencies. A diet high in sugar, corn syrup, white flour products and caffeine can be the cause and aggravate PMS. The first step is to improve your overall nutrition.
Avoid processed vegetable oils, caffeine, simple sugars and refined carbohydrates. Avoid heavily processed and refined foods. Adopt a diet that is composed of good source of protein and lots of vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables. Consume whole grains and fresh fruits, but not excessive1y.
Use organically meat, dairy and eggs and avoid xenoestrogens, especially if you have Type A. Good fats are important, such as olive oil, nuts, deep ocean fish and Super Omega-3 EPA. Evening Primrose Oil has proven helpful for many women.
Two supplements that help most symptoms are Magnesium and Vitamin B6. These nutrients play major role in balancing hormones and deficient in the diets. If you experience severe menstrual cramps, consider supplementing your diet with. 400-800 mg. of Magnesium Complex a day and take 100 mg. of Vitamin B6 daily.
In his book, Food is Your Best Medicine, Dr. Henry Beiler claims PMS is a sign of toxicity in the body. He says having PMS means the digestive tract and liver have become irritated and weak from a poor diet and toxins are getting into the blood stream. The body uses the menses to flush toxins out of the blood via the menstrual flow. This is what causes the pain and congestion of PMS.
The irritability and depression are classic signs of liver problems. If you tend to be irritable and angry during that “time of the month," try Liver Balance. It helps detoxify liver and calms feelings of anger.
Liver Balance is part of the Tiao He Cleanse, an excellent general cleansing program that can be used to detoxify the body and improve overall health. When doing the Tiao He Cleanse it is a good idea to take Psyllium Hulls Combination or Nature's Three and drink plenty of water.
If you have heavy bleeding and/or you are anemic and tired, consider Blood Build. This formula contains several herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine to support women’s health. It strengthens the liver and helps nourish the blood to replace blood lost with heavy periods.
If your symptoms tend toward depression and sadness more than anger use Mood Elevator. This formula strengthens the liver and the digestive tract while helping to overcome heavy, sad and “sagging” feelings.
Antibiotics, birth control pills, steroidal drugs and other medications can knock down friendly bacteria in the colon allowing yeast overgrowth. Yeast secretes a toxin that weakens the intestinal membranes and contributes to toxicity in the body. Yeast causes you to crave sugar and simple carbohydrates.
Progesterone affects yeast growth. Women with yeast overgrowth often have more problems with yeast related symptoms during the later half of their cycle. Symptoms of yeast overgrowth are similar to PMS symptoms, so yeast may be the underlying cause of PMS symptoms in many women.
If you have problems with vaginal yeast infections and have taken a lot of antibiotics or birth control pills or have other symptoms of yeast overgrowth, you should do a Candida cleanse program like Candida Clear. When coupled with dietary changes, this program can really help get yeast under control.
All the endocrine glands work together, so thyroid problems are another factor that can contribute to PMS. Indications that suggest thyroid problems may be a factor in PMS include starting puberty very early or very late, having irregular periods, bleeding between periods, low sex drive and fatigue.
PMS by the Letters
PMS Type A – Anxiety
In Type A, estrogen levels are too high and progesterone levels are too low. Progesterone is supposed to be dominant in the second half of the menstrual cycle. If there is too much estrogen, levels of adrenaline and serotonin increase, while the levels of dopamine drop. his creases the irritability and anxiety associated with this type of PMS.
Environmental chemicals that mimic estrogen (known as xenoestrogens) play a major role in Type A. One source of these xenoestrogens is the fat in commercial meat and dairy products.
Certain pesticides and herbicides, laundry detergents, cleaning products and soft plastics are sources of xenoestrogens. Since these compounds contribute to Type A, they increase the risk of breast cancer, so it is wise to avoid them.
Increasing progesterone by using Pro-G-Yam Cream will help balance Type A. The cream should be applied during the progesterone phase (second half of the cycle (starting about 10-14 days before the onset of menses.)
Supporting the liver in breaking down excess estrogens is helpful. Indole-3-Carbinol will break down estrogens. It can be taken as a supplement, but is found in cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli.
Liver Balance is helpful supplement for Type A. It helps the liver detoxify and reduces feeling of irritability and anger. If blood loss is heavy and there are signs of fatigue or anemia, Blood Build is a better choice. Other helpful supplements for Type A are Vitamin B6 and Magnesium Complex.
PMS Type C - Cravings
The cravings for chocolate and sugar associated with Type C are a sign of hypoglycemia. Blood sugar levels drop significantly in Type C, but only between ovulation and the onset of menses. During this time the body’s insulin balance is more sensitive than normal, so blood sugar drops more rapidly and the resulting fatigue prompts cravings for more sweets.
If you have issues with sugar cravings before your period, then a standard hypoglycemic diet will be helpful. This means eliminating simple carbohydrates like refined sugar, white flour, white rice and corn syrup form the diet. Eat small, regular meals containing both high quality proteins and fats.
Licorice root is a great herb for stabilizing blood sugar levels. Take two capsules for breakfast two at lunch and to more whenever you experience sugar cravings. Super Algae is beneficial for stabilizing blood sugar and can be taken at the same time as licorice root. Other supplements that may help Type C are Evening Primrose Oil, Magnesium Complex, Vitamin B6 and Zinc.
PMS Type D – Depression
Type D is the opposite problem to Type A. It involves too much progesterone and not enough estrogen. In balance, progesterone has a calming effect, but in excess, it becomes depression.
An interesting aspect of Type D is that hair analysis often shows high levels of lead. Extremely low levels of magnesium are common. Mega Chel is a good for supporting the body’s ability to get rid of lead and high doses of Magnesium Complex.
The depression can be eased with St. John’s Wort or Mood Elevator. Black Cohosh is an excellent for Type D because it acts as a hormone balancer and an anti-depressant. Because estrogen levels are low, plants containing phytoestrogens, such as soy and dark green vegetables may be helpful. Essential oil of Clary Sage, Rose, Lavender and Bergamot can help to bring relief.
PMS Type H – Hyperhydration
PMS Type H involves fluid retention that can cause weight gain, swelling of the breasts and bloating. This is caused by too much aldosterone, an adrenal hormone. Diuretic supplements are helpful here, such as Kidney Activator or Chinese Kidney Activator.
The adrenals affect reproductive hormones and since the adrenals are affected by stress, emotional stress can be a factor in PMS. While stress is not a direct cause of PMS, it will make symptoms worse. Signs of adrenal fatigue include feeling tired during the day, having disturbed sleep and restless dreams and feeling emotionally sensitive and mentally confused.
Adrenal Support is an excellent remedy for tired adrenals. It can increase stamina and endurance and help a person cope better with stress. Nervous Fatigue can be helpful. It promotes restful sleep, energy during the day, improved concentration and emotional stability. Nervous Fatigue supports the liver, which is a factor in many PMS problems.